SO, WHY CAN’T WE JUST SEND THE BUGGER BACK?
ONCE again, Britain has been dictated to by the European Court and the question is being asked: just who the Hell do they think they are?
Radical cleric Abu Qatada poses a serious risk to the UK’S national security but is now free to walk the streets after judges in Brussels banned us from deporting him to Jordan – where he faces terror charges.
His release from Long Lartin high-security jail in Evesham, Worcs, came as Home Office Minister James Brokenshire arrived in Jordan for talks with government officials in the capital Amman.
Qatada was let out after applying for bail when human rights judges in Europe ruled he could not be deported without assurances from Jordan that evidence gained through torture would not be used against him.
Home Secretary Theresa May now has just three months to show the Government is making significant progress in securing those assurances or risk Qatada – once described by a judge as Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe – being freed from his bail conditions.
Qatada was convicted in his absence in Jordan of involvement with terror attacks in 1998 and has featured in hate sermons found on videos in
the flat of one of the September 11 bombers.
So Britain, one of the leading lights in the war on terror, is in the bizarre position of giving sanctuary to a convicted terrorist who is wanted in his home country – a key ally of ours in the Middle East.
And British taxpayers – who 51-year-old Qatada has pledged to do harm – are PAYING benefits to this man and his brood.
Qatada’s mother Aisha Othman has even called for the cleric to be sent back to Jordan.
“We want him home now,” she told the Daily Mail, adding: “I don’t know why the British keep him. There is no good reason.”
The question must be asked: Why don’t we just ignore the European Court of Human Rights and send the bugger back to Jordan?
As a signatory – and architect – of the European Convention on Human Rights, Britain is bound to abide by the judgments of the court.
One commentator has said that to ignore the court – and the rule of law – would make Britain “like Sicily with nukes”.
But Conservative former Home Office minister, David Mellor, said Home Secretary Theresa May should simply ignore the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and “put him on a plane this morning”.
What’s the worst happen?
Theoretically, the European Court could impose massive fines.
But Britain could simply refuse to pay them.
Britain could be thrown out of the Council of Europe for refusing to pay the fine, though there is unlikely to be the political will to do this – especially when most other member states sympathise with Britain’s position.
Tory MP Dominic Raab has gone further. The Oxford-educated former international lawyer says it would be perfectly legal to boot out Qatada, as our courts have given his deportation the green light.
He said: “Britain should deport Qatada and ignore Strasbourg. We can do it legally because the Supreme Court have said so.
“There is no risk of a fine because Strasbourg does not have the power. No country has ever been kicked out of the Council of Europe – and the Committee of Ministers passed a resolution last year warning the Strasbourg Court to stop meddling in deportation cases.”
Peter Bone, a senior Conservative backbencher, called for the Government to deport Qatada and “worry about the consequences of the European Court later”.
“Other countries have done this in the past – Italy did it, they put their national interests first,” he said.
RADICAL: Abu Qatada ( and the European Court
( and the Courts of Justice in Jordan (above)